Linear barrow cemetery comprising six bowl barrows 510m south west of Townsend Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009744

Date first listed: 19-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Linear barrow cemetery comprising six bowl barrows 510m south west of Townsend Farm
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Priddy

National Grid Reference: ST 51528 51658

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite areas of localised disturbance caused by B M Skinner's partial excavation of some of the mounds, the group of six bowl barrows 510m southwest of Townsend Farm contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating both to the individual barrows and the landscape in which they were constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its location in an area which supports a concentration of contemporary burial monuments, thus giving an indication of the nature and scale of human occupation during the Bronze Age period.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a linear barrow cemetery located on level ground 510m south west of Townsend Farm. It consists of six bowl barrows aligned on a north to south axis. From north to south the barrows can be described as follows: (ST51525169] consists of a barrow mound c.17m in diameter and c.1.75m high at its highest point. The barrow was partially excavated by B M Skinner in 1816. Finds from the excavation included a secondary cremation burial. [ST51535168] Bowl barrow consisting of a barrow mound c.14m in diameter and c.1.75m high at its highest point. The barrow mound is crossed by two drystone walls which are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. [ST51535167] Bowl barrow consisting of a barrow mound c.14m in diameter and c.2m high at its highest point. The site was partially excavated by B M Skinner in 1816. Finds of a cremation burial contemporary with the construction of the monument and some fragments of an unfired ceramic urn were reported. The northern three bowl barrows are confluent. Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mounds. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. (ST51535166] Bowl barrow consisting of a barrow mound 10m in diameter and c.1m high at its highest point. Although no longer visible at ground level, a quarry ditch surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.1m wide. The bowl barrow was partially excavated by B M Skinner in 1816. Finds included a cremation burial contemporary with the construction of the monument in a cist or stone lined grave 38cm deep and 30cm long. [ST51535165] Bowl barrow consisting of a barrow mound 16m in diameter and c.2m high at its highest point. Although no longer visible at ground level, a quarry ditch surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. The site was partially excavated by B M Skinner in 1816. A cremation burial contemporary with the construction of the monument was reported at a depth of 1.8m. [ST51525163] Bowl barrow consisting of a barrow mound 23m in diameter and c.2.75m high at its highest point. Although no longer visible at ground level, a quarry ditch surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. A drystone wall which crosses the barrow mound on the western side is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 13844

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, , Vol. Vol 115, (1971)
Other
Skinner, B.M., MS 28794 folio 85 & 33648 folio 156-7, (1816)

End of official listing